Articles by RevRich

Rich Allen Poop 2023

Since 2011, I’ve been running an international music review site called A Closer Listen, specializing in instrumental and experimental music. In 2023, we received an average of a dozen submissions a day (4380/year) in those categories alone, so I’ve been listening almost exclusively to new music. By simply doubling that figure, I estimate that at the very least, an instrumental or experimental album is released every hour. In the digital era, there has never been so much to choose from ~ and so much that goes unheard. On the brighter side, although there’s much more to sift through, there seems to be an equal amount of great music. These were my favorite releases of 2023!

Rich Allen Poop 2022

Hatis Noit, Björk, Ginevra Nervi, Katarina Gryvul, Hekla, Max Richter, Amanda Cook, Hannah Peel & Paraorchestra, Rachika Nayar, Mia Zabelka | Henrik Meierkord | IsosTech

Rich Allen Poop 2021

Mogwai, Bryce Dessner, Australian String Quartet, Sydney Dance Company,Rutger Hoedemaekers, Havana Swim Club, Resina, Explosions in the Sky, Bell Orchestre, New Chronologies of Sound, Justina Jaruševičiūtė, Ian Wellman,

Rich Allen Poop 2019

Favorite Things ~ 2019 ALBUMS     Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?] Dominik Eulberg, Mannigfaltig (!K7) Rarely has an environmental message seemed so colorful, contagious and fun. After eight years away, the artist returns to offer up his heartfelt plea: protect these species. The music sparkles with energy, inviting listeners to rise and dance; the message ignites the soul, encouraging full engagement with climate causes. The “King of Naturalist Techno” has recorded his masterpiece.     Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?] PYUR, Oratorio for the Underworld (Subtext) Cello! Violin! Industrial beats? It…

Rich Allen Poop 2018

Favorite Things ~ 2018 ALBUMS     Bandcamp    Rent via iTunes [?] Somni ~ Bloom (Friends of Friends) Bloom is the perfect summer album, reflecting the open road, the ocean breeze, the sand and the surf. Sequenced as a single mix, the music recalls Botany’s Lava Diviner and Night Shift’s Trespasser’s Guide, while bringing something new to the table as well. By choosing sounds associated with happiness (whistling, waves, wind chimes), the artist paints an aural picture to match the cover collage.     Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?] Hillsong Worship ~ There Is More (Hillsong) The…

Rich Allen Poop 2017

haruka nakamura PIANO ENSEMBLE,
Ben Lukas Boysen & Sebastian Plano,
Max Richter,
Throwing Snow,
Tom Hobden & Eliot James,
Páll Ragnar Pálsson,
Soundwalk Collective, Francisco López,
Valgeir Sigurðsson,

Rich Allen Poop 2016

World’s End Girlfriend ~ Last Waltz (Virgin Babylon)
God? Light? The prayers rise to the heavens. As the end of the world approaches, the frenzied orchestra plays its heart out: the soprano strains her voice, the violinist snaps her strings, the drummer breaks his sticks, all in vain. This is the end of kingdoms and kings, of strivings and searchings, crumpled up like a child’s paper doll, thrown in the fire, turned to ash, then blown away.

Rich Allen Poop 2015

Disasterpeace – Hillsong Worship – Holly Herndon – Ian William Craig The Frozen Vaults – Matana Roberts – Michael Price – Olga Wojciechowska – Pat Collins & Tadhg O’Sullivan

Rich Allen Poop 2014

Gazelle Twin ~ Unflesh (Anti Ghost Moon Ray/Last Gang)
Something bad happened to Elizabeth Bernholz between 2011’s The Entire City and 2014’s Unflesh. The details are foggy, but hints can be gleaned from interviews and the way the artist performs hunched over with her face obscured by a hoodie (and replaced on the album cover by a slab of meat). The suffering has made her an astonishing artist; she’s channeled her pain into genius.

Rich Allen Poop 2013

Favorite Things 2013 Albums    Buy New or Used via Amazon Public Service Broadcasting ~ Inform Educate Entertain (Self-Released). Talent and popularity don’t always go hand in hand, but Inform Educate Entertain is the exception: a guilty pleasure packed with hit singles. PSB plundered public archives to find samples, placing all topics on equal ground: television, exploration, fashion, color, war. A combination of dance beats, ambient washes and post-rock flavors, this potpourri of British culture created enough goodwill to stretch around the world.    Buy New or Used via Amazon Human Pyramids ~ Planet Shhh! (Oxide Tones). Planet Shhh! sounds like a…

Richard Allen Poop ’12

Favorite Things ~ 2012 ALBUMS    Buy New or Used via Amazon Mentallo & the Fixer ~ Music from the Eather (Alfa Matrix). Today’s industrial music sounds much as it did a decade ago, undeniably powerful but no longer original. This album could change all that. The hugeness of the sound – crisp production, fluctuating beats and interlocking matrixes – blows away all rhythmic competition. The album is offered in a couple different versions, the best being the limited 3-disc set. For anyone invested in the future of IDM, this is the year’s most essential release.    Buy New or Used via…

Richard Allen Poop ’11

Favorite Things ~ 2011 ALBUMS    Buy New or Used via Amazon FareWell Poetry ~ Hoping for the Invisible to Ignite (Gizeh) This music is dangerous. It invites us to pass through the raging fire so that we might stand on the ravaged side, patting the flames on our singed clothes and glaring triumphantly at the monster that should have destroyed us. Spoken word, post-rock and Shakespeare’s Troillus and Cressida are combined in such a way as to challenge Godspeed! You Black Emperor for the post-rock crown.    Buy from Tartaruga Records Petrels ~ Haeligewielle(Tartaruga) Haeligewielle (holy well, sacred spring)…

Rich Allen Poop ’10

Favorite Things ~ 2010 ALBUMS  Buy New or Used via amazon Daniel Bjarnason ~ Processions (Bedroom Community) 2010’s list begins with a one-two punch from the Bedroom Community label: two albums released on the same January day. As the director of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Bjarnason had won numerous national awards for his insightful arrangements, but had only produced one original song, the stunning “All Sounds to Silence Come”. Processions presents his genius to the rest of the world. His wild atonal leaps and forays into dissonance are balanced here by passages of intense sweetness and flickering light. The…

Richard Allen Poop 07

Favorite Things ~ ALBUMS ‘07   Buy new or used through Amazon Arcade Fire ~ Neon Bible (Merge). Recorded and performed in churches, “Neon Bible” is, ironically, a heartfelt diatribe against the evils of organized religion. “Not much chance for survival,” sings Wim Butler, “if the neon Bible is right.” Yet beneath all the disappointment and anger flows a river of faith, apparent in the organ tones of “Intervention,” the prophetic imagery of “The Well and the Lighthouse” and the determined yearning of “My Body Is a Cage.” Strings, brass and gospel choirs enrich the band’s already textured sound and…

Richard Allen Poop 06

ALBUMS Buy new or used through Amazon Leafcutter John ~ The Forest and the Sea (Staubgold). Two travelers become lost in the woods, are surrounded by night creatures, and wake up with wings. At least that’s what seems to be happening in this Grimm and unsettling tale. The music is bracketed by field recordings: boots crunching on leaves, waves lapping against forsaken cliffs, a horse galloping past hidden alcoves. “The Forest and the Sea” is as mysterious as a Gypsy caravan and as tantalizing as a gingerbread house; its inventive spirit makes it the year’s top album. Buy new or…

Richard Allen Poop 05

Favorite Things ~ ALBUMS    Buy from Amazon B.J. Nilsen ~ Fade to White (Touch). Amazingly, the first new CD I bought in 2005 turned out to be the finest. January’s door had just opened, and here was the perfect soundtrack, one that remained in my CD player until the final frost and returned with the first flakes. “Fade to White” is an apt title for this masterpiece of sampled snow and devastating drones, whipping winds and white-out conditions. As the white noise builds to a tumult, the listener can easily imagine being snowed-in; the final icicle-thin pings sound like…

Richard Allen Poop 04

ALBUMS Buy from amazon Mum ~ Summer Make Good. “Will the summer make good for all our sins?” After the resignation of one of its lead vocalists, Mum retreated to a remote lighthouse in Galtarviti for inspiration. The result is their finest album to date, a treasure chest of creaks and anchors, kettles and coins. “Summer Makes Good” evokes wind-chapped faces, bulky, rain-drenched sweaters, tin cups clenched by a crackling fire. We hear whistles and chirps, violins and glockenspiels, a girls’ choir recorded in a cinema basement. All this and more are embedded in a spider’s web of skittery beats….

Richard Allen Poop 03

Favorite Things ~ AlBums Zoar ~ Clouds Without Water. The crowning achievement of this group’s young career. On their third album, Zoar is joined by such guests as Matt Johnson (The The), Brendan Perry (Dead Can Dance) and the Masai People of Lake Natron, Tanzania. Weighty issues are tackled here: the unobtainability of happiness through material pursuit, the horror of human disconnect, the finite nature of humanity. Because of the sheer variety of styles represented here, the album demands the listener’s attention, refusing to be played as background music. Reminiscent at times of Nicole Blackman, Elijah’s Mantle, and the Heavenly…

Rich Allen Poop 09

Rich Allen Poop 2009 PDF If you click the link above (and your browser has scripting enabled for the document will open in a child window at Look for the button to read it full page If you right (Mac: “apple” key) click on the link you can above you can choose to download it to your computer and read it locally If you need a PDF reader, there are several decent free readers. To avoid bloat on your system it’s best to stay away from Acrobat Reader. Instead, we highly recommend Foxit Reader and the even lighter…